Review: Razer Tetra Chat Headsetby Kirby Yablonski
- Cost: $39.99 CAD (Razer Online Store)
- Connectivity: 3.5mm Analog
- Rotating Cardioid Microphone
- Ear Coupling: On-Ear
- Dual Ear Use - Left-Right Reversible Design
- In-Line Volume Controls
- Weight: 70g (2.46oz)
Headphone reviews have been on my list of "to-do" over the last couple of months. I have been putting a few headsets through their paces, and two of them are chat specific. This review will cover a new chat headset from Razer, simply called the Razer Tetra. After some long gaming sessions, including Extra-Life 2019 (24 hours of gaming) where I used it for much of the tail end of the fund-raising session, I feel I have enough thoughts and impressions to finally put fingers to keyboard. Please note that all photos in this review are courtesy of Razer.
The box that the Tetra Chat Headset comes in is small and very light. When I first had it in my hands, I was unsure that there was anything in it. Upon opening it you'll find a quick start guide (a very basic one) and the headset. That is it. Simply plug the headset into your Xbox One controller and you're pretty much ready to game online with your friends.
The first thing I want to talk about is the headset's design. It is a very sharp looking headset that only comes in black. It has the Razer logo emblazoned on the back side of the earpad; however, it's not like traditional Razer products that have the recognizable green Razer logo. The logo on the Tetra looks like it is etched into the swivel that sits upon the earpad. I have to say it is subtle, yet very sharp looking. The earpad has a small outline of fake leather (pleather) that encompasses the outside of the earpad as well as a bit on the section that sits on you ear. In terms of the overall look, I would say that the Tetra really compliments the Xbox One console and controller design.
Regarding the headset's comfort, it is very, very comfortable. The weight is a major factor here, as the 70g total weight is very light and not very noticeable when you are wearing it. When thinking about how tight, or not tight, the headset is, I was quite impressed in this area. Wearing glasses and having a relatively big noggin', I have always had issues with some headsets, but given the size of the earpad and where it sits on your ear, there are no issues wearing glasses. As for the tightness, the best way I can describe it that it just felt right. I never really found my ear getting hot, or even sweaty, when using the Tetra, nor was there ever a time when I was constantly adjusting and readjusting it because it was too tight or too loose.
The Tetra's audio is crystal clear and that includes listening to those in your party or game chat as well as those who are listening to you. Razer's claim with the Tetra is that the microphone is a "rotating cardioid microphone". They state that the design of the mic is such that it suppresses outside/external noise and allows more focus on the voice of the gamer. Razer states on their website, in the FAQ section of the Tetra, that the microphone is not a noise cancelling microphone. Regardless of what their claim is, I can say that when gaming on my GAEMS Guardian with the speaker volume at 40 or 50, which can be fairly loud, the game noise through the speakers coming through the microphone wasn't an issue. My friends, who I generally play Destiny 2 with, didn't complain of any issues of the sort either. The microphone rotates 180 degrees, so you can use the earpad and microphone on either side of your head.
There are controls for volume and mute on the speaker cord that plugs into the Xbox One controller. It is simple to use as there is a small plastic hub that houses a dial for volume and a switch for muting the microphone. If you switch on the mute, there is a orange colour that becomes visible when activated (it is not lit, just painted). Turn off the mute and the switch covers the orange colour.
I think it is fair that I should discuss what I believe is an issue with the on-ear design. The earpad is such that it can block out or muffle some of the game noise you listen to when you play. I generally prefer open back earcups when using a chat headset, as it allows the game sound to still be clearly heard by both ears, keeping the directional sound should you be using two speakers or more.
When I first used the Razer Tetra, I noticed that there was in-game audio coming out of the earpad speaker, something I don't usually find with chat headsets. As time went by, it made sense as to why this may have been the case. Given that the earpad can muffle or block out sound. Having some game sound coming through the speaker in the earpad compliments the game sound coming out of your other source (e.g. sound bar, stereo speakers, surround sound set-up, etc.). I was able to balance the sound in the headset and on my GAEMS Guardian in such a way that I had good sound all around. This could be an issue for some though, as having to take this step may not make sense to those expecting a simple plug and play experience. Heck, some people may even turn off game sound and play with one ear listening to the game unobstructed while the other ear will hear sound that is somewhat impeded by the earpad itself.
After putting the Razer Tetra through its paces, I have to say that I am somewhat impressed with the overall product. It is very comfortable, very light and has a good microphone. The only issue that is worth noting is the fact that the on-ear design might turn some off due to how it can impede the quality of game sound. That being said, putting some sound through the earpad's speaker can over come this making for a fairly neat chat/gaming experience.
Overall Score: 8 out of 10